Gender inequality and sexism may not be quite as rampant as they were 50 years ago, but women are still told, both subliminally and outright, that we should be content to play the princesses trapped in the tower while men are taught to be the Prince Charmings who swoop in and make our lives complete. Ugh, no. The idea that women need a guy to save us is total BS—you can save yourself.
- Women are taught that it’s more desirable to be the victim. When it comes to male/female dynamics, girls are taught from the start to be submissive to boys. Why? Apparently, it’s “more attractive” for a woman to need a man. Men are conditioned to be domineering, just like women are conditioned to be dominated. So when some men encounter women who are subverting those roles, they tend to get intimidated, which immediately gets translated into losing sexual interest in said woman. Lame.
- When this happens, women are punished—often by other women. To all the “bossy” women out there, how many times have you heard from a patronizing friend or relative that you’re “scaring men away”? When women insist on being our own heroes—AKA being independent and taking care of our own stuff—we’re usually scolded and threatened with the idea of loneliness. If you act like you don’t need a man (because you don’t), you’re told that you’ll be alone forever, an idea that’s usually on par with a death sentence for women.
- Your life doesn’t revolve around guys. I probably don’t have to say this, but I will just because I can: there’s more to life than romantic relationships. It’s 2017, people! I think we’ve pretty much beaten to death the idea that women don’t need men to be happy, fulfilled, functional members of society. At this point, anyone who disagrees isn’t even worth wasting your breath on. Which means…
- Any man who is intimidated because you don’t need him can GTFO. There are so many things wrong with a man who can’t deal being with an independent woman. The fact that he can’t ever let you pick up the check or let you walk anywhere alone are red flags that you shouldn’t ignore. Some men were raised thinking that these acts of “chivalry” are something that women require; it can be harmless, but if you bring it up and they brush off your requests, it may be time to rethink the relationship.
- There’s more than one way to rescue yourself. Coming to your own rescue isn’t limited to fixing your own toilet and killing a spider in your apartment (you can totally handle those things on your own, BTW). There’s something to be said for being your own hero emotionally too. I’m not saying it’s awful to have a shoulder to cry on, but sometimes you don’t need one. And in those moments, you don’t turn to your douchey ex-boyfriend who brings nothing but toxicity into your life. You’re the hero of your own life and you know that even though things suck right now, they’re going to get better.
- You’re the boss of your life—no one else. No one else is going to do that paperwork or make up with your BFF after a fight. No one else is going to drag you to the gym every day and get you to up the weight you’re squatting. No one is going to force you to take classes, get a Masters degree, or learn to speak a new language. It’s up to you to improve yourself and you know that, which makes you powerful AF.
- You can clearly take care of yourself, but you might need to do some soul searching. After unpacking this sexist trope, it’s clear that I don’t think you need a man to rescue you in any way, shape, or form—but I also don’t know you personally. Do some soul searching and really evaluate your own personal needs. If you feel like you need a guy on call every time you spot a creepy crawly in your apartment, so be it! If you like the feeling of men paying for your dinners, enjoy your free meals. I’m not here to preach or force anyone into an independent lifestyle. Bottom line: you do you, whatever that might be.
- Needless to say, you’re a strong, independent woman. I’m dropping a lot of obvious truth bombs here, aren’t I? But, don’t lie—can you honestly say you hate hearing the confirmation that you’re a badass who can do anything she wants? I didn’t think so. You kick butt at a job you worked very hard to get, you pay your bills, manage your money, and spend time doing things for yourself. You have all the tools to run your own life in whichever way you see fit—and that, ladies, is rescuing yourself.